“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, interprets the liberation of subjugation and a despondent marriage. The nineteenth century setting is that of a man’s world. The general plot of “Story of an Hour” symbolic of anticipation of possibilities for women abiding the tyrannical impact of a male- controlled society. For Louise Mallard she had a fitful response when she learned that her husband has been supposedly killed in a train mishap. She confines herself in her room and sits in front of the window in isolation. She begins to muse about life without her husband. Commencing with distress, Louise slowly converts to joy. “Free! Body and soul free!” (Chopin, n.d.).
Louise knew that the normal response was to grieve the death of her husband, but deep within her new found liberation procures. Decisively she imagines living for herself and achieving things she had yearned to accomplish. Louise does not see this as adversity but as an opportunity, another endeavor at life. Compelling belief of freedom ends in dismay when Brently Mallard arrives at the door, alive and well. “Someone was opening the front door with a latchkey.” (Chopin, n.d.) Profound freedom was merely reverie. Ironically her disarray of emotions ultimately led to her death. Louise dying of simple “heart disease” reveals that her emotional agony was internal.
The theme in “The Story of an Hour” is the role of men and women in the 19th century. Life was male dominated, with women being prisoners of their husbands. In the story Louise Mallard is jubilant that she would no longer have to stoop to the desires of her husband.
There is one primary conflict in “The Story of an Hour”. The conflict is internal and one of freedom versus the imprisonment of the marriage. Mrs. Mallard, hears of the believed death of her husband, she is impaired with a heart condition, and the news could possibly kill her. Further reading explains, she is merely an animal in a glorified pen. The death of her husband would offer freedom and understanding that she has been trapped in a marriage in which her husband dominated her, which has created a conflict within her. Therefore, the desired freedom being an internal conflict.
In conclusion, “The Story of an Hour” is of the nineteenth century formation of male oppression and the thoughts of freedom resulting in death.
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